You have heard it all already. COVID-19 has radically shaped the course of nearly all industries. Rents are falling. Governments worldwide are imposing rent freezes, mortgage freezes – the list goes on. Let’s grapple with the truth; this is a hard time for everyone. The hard work and efforts ploughed into establishing your property portfolio may seem fruitless in the current financial climate. However, for anyone in possession of capital, be it property investors, landlords or property developers, your reputation is your currency. Acting out of stress will not help your situation. Your position in the market can be maintained by emanating positivity across the industry. Here, we will discuss the best ways for property investors and landlords to mitigate stress and prepare themselves for the post-COVID19 era.
On the investing side…
Provide encouragement and tips to those who are selling. Check in with sellers you had in the pipeline and, if you are able to, offer
support. The investment you were planning to make may be postponed, but your graciousness in this period will make it more likely you can return to
it in the future.
Keep informed with current goings on. In New Zealand, new laws to protect investments are being continuously introduced. Additionally,
study the specific real estate market you are in to identify which future changes you can make to your portfolio.
Plan for future investments. If you were planning to enter a new market, this may be the time to do all your research and make plans for
Most importantly, reach out to other investors. At this time, community is key in maintaining morale and utilising your network will help
you in planning and keeping yourself informed.
On the landlording side…
Everything right now is case-by-case, day-by-day. The uncertainty is not only concerning for landlords, but for tenants.
The concern we have found ourselves in has led to some panic-induced, rash outbursts. Although it may seem tempting to enter the landlord vs. tenant rights
debacle, how landlords respond now can have serious repercussions for when the pandemic retreats.
The traditional relationship between the landlord and the tenant, despite aspiring to be codependent, demonstrates a power dynamic which, in the current
state of the world, has become irrelevant. Reach out to your tenants. Understand the situation they are currently in. This does not just mean asking
for the sake of asking, genuinely employ empathy.
Explain your situation to your tenants as well and find a common agreement: whether this means using a rent holiday approach, allowing
for rent deferrals or cuts. Do this strategically per tenancy and situation and also look into government assistance if eligible.
This crisis will blow over eventually. Our actions during crises speak more to our character as individuals and our work ethic as professionals. When certainty
looms on the horizon, you will be thankful for your own patience. Take advantage of the world slowing down – this could be the moment for you to learn
how to set yourself up for your biggest successes. Tomorrow is a new day, be ready to tackle what it throws at you.